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Undocumented Immigrants Now Able to Receive COVID Relief Money

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Day laborers working in the fields of California (Artistic effect applied). Public Domain photo.

Starting today, California undocumented immigrants impacted by COVID-19 can apply for relief funds.

According to the Mercury News:

The state has set up funding to help support them during the coronavirus crisis, providing $125 million through a public-private partnership. It’s been touted as the first fund of its kind to support undocumented immigrants. The state will contribute $75 million to the fund, with the remaining $50 million coming from private philanthropic partners.

Now before you throw a shit fit about this, it’s important to remember that California literally could not run without the  labor of undocumented immigrants. California’s Central Valley produces 1/4 of the nation’s food and our agriculture industry contributes $47 billion to the state’s economy. And absolutely all of that is done on the backs of immigrant labor.

On top of growing the food that you eat, undocumented immigrants are also largely responsible for cooking it too. The vast majority of kitchens in California have undocumented folks working in them. With these jobs, and the many other industries they are employed in, undocumented workers pay billions of dollars in federal taxes each year as well as state and local ones.

So not only is providing COVID relief simply the right thing to do on a humanitarian level, it’s the only fair action to take on an economic one as well.

The Mercury News explains a bit more how it will work:

A group of 12 immigrant-focused nonprofits across the state will help roughly 150,000 undocumented adults impacted by the virus apply for the funds. The application period begins Monday and runs through June 30.

The one-time payments will be $500 per adult, with a cap of $1,000 per household.

Applicants are being helped in each county on the basis of first-come, first serve and they must:

  • be at least 18 years old and undocumented
  • be ineligible for federal COVID-19 relief like the CARES Act
  • have experienced a hardship due to the virus

In the Bay Area, Catholic Charities is handling the program for folks who live in Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, San Francisco, San Mateo and Santa Clara counties. They can be reached at 1-866-490-3899. If that doesn’t’ work you can try 415-324-1011.

For all other counties in California you can check out the website right here. Forewarning though, at the time of publishing, the site is barely working. I wouldn’t be surprised if there was an effort by conservatives to try and jam up the site with too much traffic considering their lawsuit to stop the program from happening has been unsuccessful.

Now let’s see what kind of venomous stuff ends up in the comment section.

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Broke-Ass Stuart - Editor In Cheap

Broke-Ass Stuart - Editor In Cheap

Stuart Schuffman, aka Broke-Ass Stuart, is a travel writer, poet, TV host, activist, and general shit-stirrer. His website BrokeAssStuart.com is one of the most influential arts & culture sites in the San Francisco Bay Area and his freelance writing has been featured in Lonely Planet, Conde Nast Traveler, The Bold Italic, Geek.com and too many other outlets to remember. His weekly column, Broke-Ass City, appears every other Thursday in the San Francisco Examiner. Stuart’s writing has been translated into four languages. In 2011 Stuart created and hosted the travel show Young, Broke, and Beautiful on IFC and in 2015 he ran for Mayor of San Francisco and got nearly 20k votes.

He's been called "an Underground legend": SF Chronicle , "an SF cult hero": SF Bay Guardian, and "the chief of cheap": Time Out New York.

1 Comment

  1. J.B. Tipton
    May 21, 2020 at 2:39 pm

    “.., it’s important to remember that California literally could not run without the labor of undocumented immigrants.”
    OK, I’m fine with helping the workers. But their vital role is based on paying below-market wages, depressing the overall wage rates, and creating and sustaining an underclass. IMHO, it’s important to remember that you get cheap oranges and lettuce (and agri-biz reaps yuge profits) on the backs of underpaid workers. Yum yum.